- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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Tuukka Rask, Boston’s No. 1 netminder, made 23 saves during Monday’s 4-1 win at Carolina. Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t announce his goalie for Tuesday, but he did say he would like to give Johnson a chance to stay sharp since he’s played only three games this season.
“It’s a matter of giving him some reps at some point and making sure he gets into a groove,” Julien said. “It’s hard to be off for a week or two before you get your next game and we understand that. He’s done a good job working hard and staying sharp, so we’ll continue to do that with him, make sure he stays sharp and when he’s called upon he’s got to be ready.”
Johnson helped the Bruins to a 3-2 win with his 34-save performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Thursday night at TD Garden. It had been over two weeks since his last game on Nov. 2, a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders, but he played well against the Blue Jackets, especially in the third period to secure the win for Boston.
If he does start against the Rangers, he’s hoping to build off that momentum.
"Just the consistency, like in the third period, I was battling and feeling comfortable,” Johnson said. “Just being able to play some games closer together always helps. You feel more comfortable the more you play, so it’s just one of those things, get in there, do my thing and play to win.”
Johnson played his first NHL game with the Rangers on Dec. 30 2009 and lost to the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. During his time in the Rangers organization, he played only six games in two seasons, while spending the majority of his time with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
“It’s exciting,” Johnson said of being back at MSG and possibly playing against the Rangers. “It’s where it all began for me. I got my first NHL action here five years ago, so to be able to come back here, just to be in this environment with the fans, is exciting and just brings back memories, a lot of good memories.”
14dJoe McDonald and Kyle Brasseur